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Nat’l Aids program to launch pilot to reduce stigma



IMG_3991Providenciales, 14 Apr 2015 – A pilot program is being launched which the National Aids Program believes will not only be more cost effective, but eliminate any stigma surrounding medical treatment of HIV infected residents.
A three day workshop is underway this week to ready the medical staff of government clinics and private practitioners who will begin treating HIV at the primary health care stage. Leading the sessions is guest presenter from the Bahamas, Dr. Phillipa Pratt, Registrar of Infectious diseases.

“The thing about HIV now, is we’re thinking about it like a chronic disease – like hypertension or diabetes – so the message is that you can live well with HIV, you can live with HIV, you could graduate, take care of your children and everything so it is important that people actually know their status and know it early, so that you can get the treatments that they need in a comfortable environment, not thinking that you’re gonna go one clinic and people are gonna know that you’re there for HIV, but you can go there with anybody else who is coming for regular cholesterol check-ups, pregnancy tests or STI screening.”

Coordinator of the TCI program, Aldora Robinson said this strategy is a trending move now within the region, as HIV is treated as a chronic illness with no set day or time for those infected to get care.
Six medical centers will participate in this six month trial run of the maneuver.
The workshop, which is being held at the Environmental Center was opened by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services, Tamera Robinson.

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Caribbean News

Unbossed, unbought Mia Mottley leads BLP to historic back to back, full sweep Election Victory



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#Barbados, January 20, 2022 – “They who helped raise me carried me on this occasion…The working class, the workers of this country will remain at the centre of what we do.”

The words of Prime Minister Mia Mottley at her swearing in ceremony early Thursday morning.

Mottley was sworn in for a second term as Prime Minister alongside Attorney General Dale Marshall after a whirlwind of a year in 2021 where she reached international acclaim as one of the strongest and most respected Caribbean voices in the fight against climate change and being named a United Nations 2021 Champion of the Earth.

Mottley who also transformed her country into a Republic was voted in along with all General Election candidates of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) managing to successfully sweep all 30 seats for the second consecutive time in history.  Local media have dubbed the feat,  “Red Wash Number 2.”

The elections which were called 18 months early faced foul cries and injunctions from opponents of the BLP but Bajan voters put the matter to rest with an overwhelming victory for the party.

A hoarse Mottley had much to say to the Bajan People

“Barbadians are far more perceptive than we give them credit for, we are buoyed by [the win], we are humbled by the confidence, I have given the commitment that I have to be the opposition to the government because I must not in any way break the oath that I just took.”

She announced that a revised Cabinet would be announced to the public on Monday after a weekend of careful reflection and rest. She made it clear that Barbados would be continuing on its track as a regional leader.

“We shall endeavor to continue the process of transformation so our country will be able to face [future] challenges, there is still the aspirations of development that we set as a nation when we became independent in 1966, closing the development gap, eliminating poverty from our landscape, ensuring that our children can be educated to the maximum and above all else that our people shall remain owners in their land and not tenants.”

The general election was contested on January 19th by representatives from  seven parties and several independents. No official data has been released in terms of voter turnout yet but 266,330 Barbadians were eligible to vote.


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TCI Ministry of Health slow on Quarantine Orders, blocking NIB payments



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – It is unclear how many hundreds of workers registered with the National Insurance Board are impacted, but the slow issuance of Covid-19 Quarantine Orders by the TCI Ministry of Health is hampering distribution and payment of sickness benefits to quarantined residents who are missing work.

Islanders are finding the process for receiving their money obstructed because the National Insurance Board required the government document in order to verifying their quarantine status.

The Ministry has not yet gone digital with the bookkeeping for COVID-19 records and residents have reported that the contact numbers listed by the Ministry of Health do not work.

The NIB has been offering financial remuneration to its beneficiaries since 2020 for days off work due to quarantine amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

An unemployment benefit was also instituted by the NIB to support workers adversely affected in the pandemic.

Ministry of Health has admitted to manpower shortages, but have issued no comment on how it will speed up the process of qualified residents receiving the essential Quarantine Order.


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Bahamas News

TCI & Bahamas and over 20 other countries put at higher risk by CDC, Residents say DIVERSIFY



#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – ‘We need to diversify!’ is the main call from residents of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas after the recent bumping of their countries to a level 4 in the US, Centres for Disease Control’s Travel Health Notice index. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with the Bahamas, Cayman, Bonaire, Curaçao Trinidad and Tobago and 16 other countries were officially added to the CDC’s level 4 list on Tuesday.

Jamaica was also moved up to level three.

Level 4 is the highest level of risk according to the CDC and non-essential travel, including vacations, to countries listed as such is not advised by the organization.

Despite a record breaking year for arrivals, one TCI resident said, “Maybe now the PNP will put something credible into place to go with their words about diversifying the economy.”

A Bahamian resident added his views from Grand Bahama.

“Tourism is running the whole country, which is ridiculous because every time something goes down in the rest of the world tourism is the first thing that drops off.  With Covid you think they would have learned a lesson, no, they’re still using Tourism as a base for everything.”

This is a blow for all the Caribbean countries listed, who are still trying to rebound from 2020’s economic shocks due to the freeze on travel and tourism when the Coronavirus Pandemic first started.

It is especially difficult for the Turks and Caicos which mandates that travelers must have travel insurance to vacation on the islands as level 4 ratings makes that security more difficult to procure.

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